This Column Is Ironic: It’s a Jungle Out There

Opinion by Shane Savitsky
Oct. 21, 2010, 12:29 a.m.

This Column Is Ironic: It’s a Jungle Out ThereStanford is one of the most diverse college campuses on the planet. We have students here from countries you’ve never even heard of. Seriously, my roommate during freshman and sophomore years was from Bahrain. Do you think I could actually point that out on a map before I walked into Mirlo 304 two years ago? Hell no.

It’s not just our international student segment that embodies this remarkable diversity. In fact, our entire student population exhibits a wider variety of creatures than you’d see in The Lion King. Heading out into the jungle of Stanford will allow you to see different types of people all existing together. It can be confusing and even overwhelming at first, so here’s a little scientific guide to help you pick out some of the most prevalent species of students here in the wild of the Farm:

Bros (bromo erectus): If you want to spot some bros in the wild, your best bet is to head to the area around Theta Delt, Kappa Sig and SAE—an area I like to refer to as the “Bromuda Triangle.” To confirm that you’ve spotted a bro, check his clothing choice. He is almost guaranteed to be wearing a tank top from one of the sororities on campus—most likely to show off his Theta or Pi Phi girlfriend. Bros are also likely to be legacy students or have at least one parent who is the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. If you would like to attempt to get an up-close look at a bro (don’t worry: they’re harmless), try offering him a can of Keystone Light. Please note: members of Sigma Nu desire the moniker “bro,” but end up looking more like Quinn from Dexter than anything else.

Sorority Girls (homo blairwaldorficus): Sorority girls are the female equivalent of bros. You can spot them sporting the same neon tank tops as bros, but always with a Longchamp bag in tow. While bros tend to congregate in the Bromuda Triangle, you’ll find sorority girls in the Cowell Cluster. There are only three relevant species of sorority girls—Thetas, Pi Phis and Tri Delts. They have houses and thus greater status in their ecosystem here at Stanford. Kappas also are plentiful on campus, but their lack of a true habitat in the Cowell Cluster has caused them to develop an affinity for alcohol as a social adaptation to combat their inferiority complex. Beware.

Hippies (homo immundus): Some may tell you that Columbae is the “social justice” theme house on campus, but it just exists to distract you from the real hippies on campus. We’ve placed them in their very own quarantine zone—Synergy. It’s on a secluded hilltop far away from the rest of campus. You could think of it as a “Jurassic Park” for hippies. These people can be identified by their complete disregard for basic human norms, including but not limited to showering, clothing and the consumption of meat. Don’t approach too close. Otherwise, the hippies will mercilessly expound the benefits of a vegan and environmentalist lifestyle to you.

Hipsters (scientific name is too obscure): These are more difficult to spot in the wild, so feel fortunate if you run across one. Your best bet to see one may be wine and cheese nights at Kairos. You can identify hipsters by their extremely ratty clothing. This is just a camouflage technique! Their clothing most likely was purchased at Urban Outfitters or some overpriced secondhand shop in San Francisco for hundreds of dollars. Feel free to get a closer look. Their oversized headphones generally blast incomprehensible music, giving you the element of surprise. Most of their time is spent scouring the blogosphere for new bands to listen to in order to impress others. They’ll want to tell you about it, so don’t misinterpret this behavior as aggression. Simply tell the hipster that you’re attending a Katy Perry concert tonight, and he will scamper off.

Nerds (homo solitarius): This species is known for its horrific mutation: they are generally techies or pre-meds. Stanford scientists are still confused as to how they evolved. Regardless, as a result of their mutation, they spend much of their time locked away in their rooms in Manz or GovCo. They are generally harmless, but their lack of human contact often makes them skittish. The only time you will run into this species is on their way to class in Gates, Hewlett or Mudd.

There you have it, my friends. You will encounter all of these species during your time here at Stanford. Stay safe and happy spotting!

Want a personal guide for your next Stanford safari? Then e-mail Shane at [email protected].

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